• Feature Story

    Fiscal Year 2022 City Retiree Health Open Enrollment
    May 24, 2021

    Health open enrollment for City of San Diego retirees will run from June 1st through June 30th. As of May 24th, the fiscal year 2022 City retiree health booklets were mailed out to all eligible City retirees and beneficiaries. An electronic version of the booklet is available here, and the health plan comparison chart here. You can also download and complete enrollment forms by visiting the City Retiree Health page. After you’ve completed an enrollment (or disenrollment) form, you must send it to SDCERS by June 30th – we prefer you scan your forms and email them as a PDF attachment to health@sdcers.org, but you may also fax them to (858) 581-5314 or mail them to our offices at:
     
    SDCERS – Health Division
    401 West A Street, Suite 400
    San Diego, CA 92101
     
    As always, if you do not wish to make any changes to your current healthcare coverage, you do not need to take any action during open enrollment and your coverage will remain the same. There are no new plans this year and no significant changes to existing plans in terms of coverage.
     
    Due to the continuing ban on public gatherings, this year’s open enrollment will similar to last year’s: SDCERS will not be holding in-person open enrollment events, such as the annual Open Enrollment Kickoff or Help Day. Instead, SDCERS participated in a virtual health fair hosted by SDPEBA (San Diego Public Employee Benefit Association), which was held on June 2nd
     
    Additionally, plan providers once again recorded the presentations they would have given at SDCERS’ live open enrollment events. You can access their videos via this page on our website.
     
    If you are comparing different plans and trying to decide which is best for you, don’t forget about CareCounsel! CareCounsel Member Care Specialists are available for your healthcare inquiries and concerns. You can call them at (888) 227-3334 or e-mail staff@carecounsel.com Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST. CareCounsel also provides helpful videos on their website that may answer your questions about Medicare, here: https://carecounsel.com/medicare.html.
     
    SDCERS’ Call Center is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at (619) 525-3600 and (800) 774-4977. Please be patient with our hard-working staff; we are working with limited resources and call wait times may be longer than usual due to an expected increase in health-related calls.

  • Feature Story

    City's Proposition B Update
    April 14, 2021

    As you may know, Proposition B (“Prop B”) was the San Diego ballot initiative that went into effect July 20, 2012 and amended the City Charter to close the City’s pension system to all new hires except for sworn City police officers. This ballot measure has been in litigation since its inception. In January 2021, a San Diego state trial court issued a verbal ruling from the bench, declaring Prop B to be invalid. This verbal ruling was followed by a written statement of decision, and proponents of Prop B had until April 9, 2021 to appeal the trial court’s ruling.
     
    No appeal was filed by the deadline, which means the trial court’s invalidation of Prop B is final. However, we still do not know exactly how the trial court’s ruling will be implemented. So, what happens next?

    • The City and labor unions will enter into negotiations to decide how the trial court’s decision will be implemented.

    • The City will have to take legislative action (i.e., pass a City Ordinance) to remove Prop B from the City Charter and, if applicable, the San Diego Municipal Code.

    • Once the above actions are completed, we will have more information about enrolling City Members hired since July 20, 2012 into an SDCERS pension plan and their options moving forward. Until then, Proposition B is still in effect – meaning all new City hires (except sworn police officers) since July 20, 2012 continue to contribute to the City’s SPSP-H plan in lieu of participating in an SDCERS defined benefit pension plan.

    • If the invalidation of Prop B affects you, SDCERS anticipates that we will contact you on an individual basis once the above actions have been completed.

      
    NOTE: SDCERS administers the City’s pension system pursuant to the relevant provisions of the City Charter and San Diego Municipal Code – it does not play a part in negotiating the pension benefits it is charged with administering. Please direct any questions regarding Prop B to your respective labor union representative or to the City’s Human Resources Department.

  • Feature Story

    Results of Board Member Elections
    March 12, 2021

    As of 5:00 p.m. (PST) on February 11th, voting concluded in the elections for SDCERS' two active General Board Member seats and one active Fire Safety Board Member seat. All active General Members (City, Port, and Airport) were eligible to vote in the General Board Member elections, while active City Fire and Lifeguard Members were eligible to vote for one of the Fire Safety Board Member candidates. Thank you to all who participated in these elections!
     
    The candidates who received the majority of votes for the General Board Member seats are Bret A. Bartolotta and Sarah Mayen.
     
    The candidate who received the majority of votes for the Fire Safety Board Member seat is Paul Lotze.
     
    The current Board of Administration certified the election results today, at its March 12, 2021 meeting. Congratulations to our newly elected Board Members and thank you in advance for your service on SDCERS’ Board of Administration! The new Board Members will attend their first SDCERS Board meeting on May 14, 2021.


     

  • Feature Story

    Voting is Now CLOSED for Board Member Elections
    February 12, 2021

    Elections have ended for SDCERS' two active General Board Member seats and one active Fire Safety Board Member seat. 

    The candidates for the two General Board Member seats are:
    1) Bret A. Bartolotta
    2) Thomas Battaglia
    3) Sarah Mayen
    4) Tammy L. Williams

    The candidates for the Fire Safety Board Member seat are:
    1) Paul Lotze
    2) Tim Robles

    The election results will be publicly announced and certifed by SDCERS' Board of Administration during its meeting on March 12, 2021.

  • Feature Story

    Voting is Now Open for Board Member Elections
    January 28, 2021

    Elections have begun for SDCERS' two active General Board Member seats and one active Fire Safety Board Member seat. All active General Members (City, Port, and Airport) are eligible to vote for up to two candidates who will represent them on SDCERS' Board for the next four years, starting in May 2021. All active City Fire and Lifeguard Members are eligible to vote for one of the Fire Safety Board Member candidates.
     
    If you are in any of the above-mentioned membership classifications, a letter was mailed to you on January 25th. Each letter explains the voting process, lists information about the candidates, and contains a unique validation number. Please retain this letter, as you will need your unique validation number in order to cast your vote. You should expect to receive this letter within the next few days – if you have not received a letter by February 2nd, or if you received the letter but no longer have access to it, please contact the elections help line at 1-866-720-4357, Monday – Friday, between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. PST. You can also email SDCERShelp@electionservicescorp.com.

    The candidates for the two General Board Member seats are:
    1) Bret A. Bartolotta
    2) Thomas Battaglia
    3) Sarah Mayen
    4) Tammy L. Williams

    The candidates for the Fire Safety Board Member seat are:
    1) Paul Lotze
    2) Tim Robles

    Votes may be cast by phone or online – specific information about the voting process is contained in your letter. All votes must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST on February 11, 2021.

  • Feature Story

    Proposition B Declared Invalid By San Diego Trial Court
    January 06, 2021

    Proposition B was the San Diego ballot initiative that went into effect July 20, 2012 and amended the City Charter to close the City’s pension system to all new hires except for City police officers. This ballot measure has been in litigation since its inception. Please visit our FAQ’s for more information about the history of Proposition B.
     
    Recently, opponents of Proposition B gained momentum in their quest to overturn the ballot measure: On January 5, 2021, a San Diego state trial court heard oral arguments in this matter and issued a verbal ruling from the bench, declaring Proposition B to be invalid. Currently, the court is drafting a written statement of its decision, which will direct the City Council to erase Proposition B's language from the City Charter. We do not know exactly how this ruling will be implemented – whether it will retroactively provide pension benefits to all City employees who were affected by Proposition B, if these employees will be compensated some other way and begin earning pension benefits prospectively, or if some other resolution will be negotiated. However, it is worth noting that if the trial court's decision is appealed within 60 days of the court’s written statement of decision, any enforcement of the decision may be stalled until the appeal is resolved.
     
    Note: SDCERS is not a party to this litigation. SDCERS administers the City’s pension system pursuant to the relevant provisions of the City Charter and San Diego Municipal Code – it does not play a part in negotiating the pension benefits it is charged with administering.

  • Feature Story

    Upcoming Board Member Elections (Active City General and Fire Safety)
    December 22, 2020

    SDCERS' two active General Board Members (Thomas Battaglia and Jeffrey Wallace) and active Fire Safety Board Member (Michael McBride) will complete their four-year term on SDCERS' Board of Administration on March 31, 2021. Therefore, SDCERS will be holding elections to fill these soon-to-be vacated seats. All active City General and Fire Safety Members are eligible to nominate a candidate for their respective representative on SDCERS' Board. If you are in one of these membership classifications, you should have received a letter containing a unique validation number and explaining the nominations process. Please retain this letter, as you will need your unique validation number in order to submit a nomination or sign an existing nominee's petition. 

    In order for a nominee to be eligible for the open position, they must receive at least 10 signatures on their nomination petition. You can submit a self-nomination or sign a petition online through the following website: https://vote.escvote.com/SDCERS/

    If you lost your letter or have any questions about the nomination process, please email SDCERShelp@electionservicescorp.com or call 1-866-720-4357, Monday – Friday, 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. PST. 

    All nominations must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST on January 6, 2021. At that time, if there is only one nominee for each open seat, an election will not be necessary. If there are competing nominations, then we will proceed with elections and you will receive another letter with further instructions if you are eligible to vote in the election. 

     

  • Feature Story

    2021 Deferred Retirement Option Plan ("DROP") Interest Rates
    November 13, 2020

    At today’s meeting, SDCERS’ Board of Administration voted to approve new DROP account and DROP annuity interest rates, which will be effective January 1, 2021. The DROP account rate is the interest rate used by SDCERS while a Member is in DROP and the DROP annuity rate is the interest rate used by SDCERS to annuitize the DROP monies of a Member who has exited DROP and retired. These rates are calculated annually using publicly available indexes as of September 30 of each year.
     
    Effective January 1, 2021, the DROP account interest rate will be 1%, compared to the current rate of 2.5%. This interest rate will be compounded quarterly and applied to all active DROP participants’ accounts as long as the participant is actively employed by the City of San Diego, San Diego Unified Port District, or the San Diego Regional Airport Authority on the last day of each quarter. This rate is subject to change annually, which means a DROP participant’s account may receive a different interest rate every year during their participation period, depending on the Board’s actions.
     
    Also beginning January 1, 2021, the DROP annuity interest rate will be 2.1%, compared to the current rate of 3.1%. This interest rate will be factored into the calculation of a DROP retiree’s monthly DROP annuity, if they DROP retire between January 1 and December 31, 2021 and choose to annuitize their DROP account. Unlike the DROP account interest rate, the DROP annuity rate will not change for an individual member – the rate that is in effect when a member DROP retires is the rate that will be applied to their annuity, regardless of whether or not the DROP annuity rate changes in future years. If you are nearing the end of your five-year DROP participation period, your decision to DROP retire before or after the New Year may be affected by the Board’s decision regarding the DROP annuity interest rate. However, if you do not plan to annuitize your DROP account upon exiting DROP, then the DROP annuity rate changes will not affect you. Click here to review your options regarding how you may choose to receive your DROP account.
     
    Read the full article for an example of how the changing DROP annuity interest rate could affect the calculation of a hypothetical DROP annuity.
     
    If you are currently in DROP and considering retiring before Dec. 31, you must begin the process immediately as counseling appointments will fill up fast. To begin the process, you must first go to your Member Portal account and click on “DROP Retirement Application” from the left menu, under Tools. Review this information, make your selections, and SUBMIT THE APPLICATION ONLINE. Once received, you will be contacted by an SDCERS staff member to schedule your personal phone counseling appointment. At your appointment, you can ask questions and make any changes you’d like to your application. Your electronic application is not final and you have not retired until you’ve submitted your signed application signature page, which will be emailed to you by your retirement counselor during your appointment.

  • Feature Story

    Call Center is Open, But Office Remains Closed
    July 20, 2020

    SDCERS staff is here to assist you – we just can’t see you in person. The Call Center's "new" hours are from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. You can also submit non-urgent questions or concerns via our Contact Us page, and we will respond within one business day.
     
    We appreciate your patience. The majority of SDCERS staff are still required to telecommute and our offices remain closed to members and the public.
     
    Retirement counseling appointments are being held via phone and document signing takes place via email exchange. If you already have a retirement counseling appointment scheduled, you will be contacted in advance with details. If you have recently submitted your online application, you will be contacted soon to schedule your appointment.
     
    If you are thinking about retiring soon, please review the fact sheets, FAQs, and videos on our website, which will help answer many of your questions in advance. Keep an eye out for retirement educational webinars, which are announced periodically via your work email. You can also estimate your future retirement benefit by using the Benefit Calculator on the Member Portal. If you have not already registered on our secure Member Portal, click on “Register” on the Member Portal page and follow the registration instructions.
     
    Once you have reviewed all of the pertinent information, if you want to schedule a retirement counseling appointment, you must submit an online retirement application through your Member Portal account by clicking “Online Applications” on the left panel. Keep in mind this electronic application is not final – your submission simply prompts us to contact you to schedule a counseling appointment.
     
    CITY RETIREE HEALTH REIMBURSEMENTS: City Retiree Health Reimbursement requests are being processed as usual. For fastest processing, submit your documents via email (attached as a PDF) to health@sdcers.orgDo NOT use health@sandiego.gov, as this email no longer forwards to health@sdcers.org. Please ensure you have submitted complete documents – we continue to receive incomplete submissions, which cannot be processed and result in delayed reimbursements.
     
    Note: If you are using an Apple product to send the email, in Mail, please select "Format" and click on "Make Plain Text" - we've received reports of emails not getting through our firewalls if this extra step isn't taken when using an Apple product. Alternatively, you may fax your documents to (858) 581-5314, or mail them to our office at 401 West A Street, Ste. 400, San Diego, CA 92101.
     

  • Feature Story

    Call Center is Open, But Office Remains Closed
    July 13, 2020

    SDCERS staff is here to assist you – we just can’t see you in person. Our Call Center hours will be adjusted this week for training, as we seek the best ways to serve our members during this challenging time.
     
    Tuesday, July 14             10 a.m. to noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    Wednesday, July 15        10 a.m. to noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
     
    Beginning Thursday, July 16th, the Call Center will be open on the regular schedule, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. You can also submit non-urgent questions or concerns via our Contact Us page, and we will respond within one business day.
     
    We appreciate your patience. The majority of SDCERS staff are still required to telecommute and our offices remain closed to members and the public.
     
    Retirement counseling appointments are being held via phone and document signing takes place via email exchange. If you already have a retirement counseling appointment scheduled, you will be contacted in advance with details. If you have recently submitted your online application, you will be contacted soon to schedule your appointment.
     
    If you are thinking about retiring soon, please review the fact sheets, FAQs, and videos on our website, which will help answer many of your questions in advance. Keep an eye out for retirement educational webinars, which are announced periodically via your work email. You can also estimate your future retirement benefit by using the Benefit Calculator on the Member Portal. If you have not already registered on our secure Member Portal, click on “Register” on the Member Portal page and follow the registration instructions.
     
    Once you have reviewed all of the pertinent information, if you want to schedule a retirement counseling appointment, you must submit an online retirement application through your Member Portal account by clicking “Online Applications” on the left panel. Keep in mind this electronic application is not final – your submission simply prompts us to contact you to schedule a counseling appointment.
     
    CITY RETIREE HEALTH REIMBURSEMENTS: City Retiree Health Reimbursement requests are being processed as usual. For fastest processing, submit your documents via email (attached as a PDF) to health@sdcers.orgDo NOT use health@sandiego.gov, as this email no longer forwards to health@sdcers.org. Please ensure you have submitted complete documents – we continue to receive incomplete submissions, which cannot be processed and result in delayed reimbursements.
     
    Note: If you are using an Apple product to send the email, in Mail, please select "Format" and click on "Make Plain Text" - we've received reports of emails not getting through our firewalls if this extra step isn't taken when using an Apple product. Alternatively, you may fax your documents to (858) 581-5314, or mail them to our office at 401 West A Street, Ste. 400, San Diego, CA 92101.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS' Call Center is Now Open, But Office Remains Closed
    June 01, 2020

    Our Call Center is now open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. However, the Call Center is not currently staffed at full capacity, which is why it is only operating during limited hours. Therefore, please be patient as call waiting times may be longer than usual. To help decrease call volume, please submit non-urgent questions or concerns via our Contact Us page, which we continue to monitor and generally respond to within one business day.
     
    The majority of SDCERS staff are still required to telecommute, and our offices remain closed to members and the public. We will continue to conduct retirement counseling appointments via phone, which we have been doing since the statewide shelter-in-place order began in late March. The phone counseling sessions have been well-received, and document signing takes place via email exchange. If you already have a retirement counseling appointment scheduled, you will be contacted in advance with details. If you have recently submitted your online application, you will be contacted soon to schedule your appointment.
     
    If you are thinking about retiring soon, please review the fact sheets, FAQs, and videos on our website, which will help answer many of your questions in advance. Keep an eye out for retirement educational webinars, which are announced periodically via your work email. You can also estimate your future retirement benefit by using the Benefit Calculator on the Member Portal. If you have not already registered on our secure Member Portal, click on “Register” on the Member Portal page and follow the registration instructions.
     
    Once you have reviewed all of the pertinent information, if you want to schedule a retirement counseling appointment, you must submit an online retirement application through your Member Portal account by clicking “Online Applications” on the left panel. Keep in mind this electronic application is not final – your submission simply prompts us to contact you to schedule a counseling appointment.
     
    CITY RETIREE HEALTH REIMBURSEMENTS: City Retiree Health Reimbursement requests are being processed as usual. For fastest processing, submit your documents via email (attached as a PDF) to health@sdcers.orgDo NOT use health@sandiego.gov, as this email no longer forwards to health@sdcers.org. Please ensure you have submitted complete documents – we continue to receive incomplete submissions, which cannot be processed and result in delayed reimbursements.
     
    Note: if you are using an Apple product to send the email, in Mail, please select "Format" and click on "Make Plain Text" - we've received reports of emails not getting through our firewalls if this extra step isn't taken when using an Apple product. Alternatively, you may fax your documents to (858) 581-5314, or mail them to our office at 401 West A Street, Ste. 400, San Diego, CA 92101.
     

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS is Virtually Open - Here's How to Reach Us
    April 16, 2020

    Due to the COVID-19 crisis, most SDCERS staff members are telecommuting, and we are unable to answer phone calls via our Call Center. We have adapted and created a new process, so rest assured that we will take care of you. Please submit questions and death notifications via our Contact Us page.
     
    RETIRED MEMBERS: We want to reassure you that pension benefits will continue to be paid on time – your benefit to be deposited into your account on the last business day of each month.
     
    CITY RETIREE HEALTH REIMBURSEMENTS: City Retiree Health Reimbursement requests are being processed as usual. For fastest processing, submit your documents via email (attached as a PDF) to health@sdcers.orgDo NOT use health@sandiego.gov, as this email no longer forwards to health@sdcers.org.
     
    Note: if you are using an Apple product to send the email, in Mail, please select "Format" and click on "Make Plain Text" - we've received reports of emails not getting through our firewalls if this extra step isn't taken when using an Apple product. Alternatively, you may fax your documents to (858) 581-5314, or mail them to our office at 401 West A Street, Ste. 400, San Diego, CA 92101.
     
    As a reminder to all, our physical office downtown is currently closed to our members, so you may not drop off any paperwork in person or meet with SDCERS staff.

    NON-RETIRED MEMBERS: If you already have a retirement counseling appointment scheduled, please assume it will be held via phone on the scheduled date and time. You will be contacted in advance with details. If you have recently submitted your online application, you will be contacted soon to schedule your appointment.
     
    If you are thinking about retiring soon, please review the fact sheets, FAQs, and videos on our website, which will help answer many of your questions in advance. You can also estimate your future retirement benefit by using the Benefit Calculator on the Member Portal. If you have not already registered on our secure Member Portal, click on “Register” on the Member Portal page and follow the registration instructions.
     
    Once you have reviewed all of the pertinent information, if you want to schedule a retirement counseling appointment, you must submit an online retirement application through your Member Portal account by clicking “Online Applications” on the left panel. Keep in mind this electronic application is not final – your submission simply prompts us to contact you to schedule a counseling appointment.

  • Feature Story

    MESSAGE TO OUR MEMBERS DURING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
    March 24, 2020

    RETIRED MEMBERS: We want to reassure you that pension benefits will continue to be paid on time – you can expect your benefit to be deposited into your account on the last business day of each month. We are still processing health reimbursement requests as usual. However, due to most employees telecommuting at present, your request will likely be processed faster if you can send in the paperwork via email (attached as a PDF) to health@sdcers.org. Note: if you are using an Apple product to send the email, in Mail, please select "Format" and click on "Make Plain Text" - we've received reports of emails not getting through our firewalls if this extra step isn't taken when using an Apple product. Alternatively, you may fax your documents to (858) 581-5314, or mail them to our office at 401 West A Street, Ste. 400, San Diego, CA 92101.

    NON-RETIRED MEMBERS: Please be advised SDCERS is currently experiencing a flood of requests for retirement counseling appointments. On top of this, we are having to reschedule many current appointments and prioritize those that are most urgent. If you are thinking about retiring soon, please review the fact sheets and FAQs on our website, which may help answer many of your questions in advance. You can also utilize our Benefit Estimate Calculator by logging in to your Member Portal account. Once you have reviewed all of the pertinent information, if you want to schedule a retirement counseling appointment, you must submit an online retirement application through your Member Portal account by clicking “Online Applications” on the left panel. Keep in mind this electronic application is not final – your submission simply prompts us to contact you to schedule a counseling appointment. Those who have a counseling appointment already scheduled, as well as those who have recently requested an appointment, will be contacted by SDCERS staff sometime in the coming weeks. Please bear with us as we are understaffed and overwhelmed with requests for appointments. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this uncertain and confusing time.
     
    As a reminder to all, our offices are currently closed, so you may not drop off any paperwork in person or meet with SDCERS staff. Additionally, our Call Center is closed, which means no one is available to answer our main line. Instead, please submit all inquiries through our Contact Us page and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.

  • Feature Story

    UPDATE: SDCERS Is Temporarily Closed, March Pension Benefits WILL Be Paid On Time
    March 20, 2020

    ATTENTION (updated as of 3/20/2020): Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain operational. However, effective today due to the statewide shelter in place order, our offices are closed until further notice. This means that all retirement counseling appointments scheduled over the next week will be rescheduled. Please note that March pension benefits will be paid on time.
     
    You must send any paperwork (such as health reimbursement requests, for example) via email or U.S. mail. For the foreseeable future, you will not be able to drop off any paperwork at the office. Health-related paperwork can be emailed to health@sdcers.org or faxed to 858-581-5314. All documents can be mailed to our offices at 401 West A Street, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101. Please note that any paperwork that is faxed or sent via U.S. mail will not be processed until SDCERS' offices reopen. 
     
    The March 23rd DROP Entry Seminar is still expected to be held as an online webinar that can be attended remotely by anyone who has a computer and internet access. Those who are registered for this seminar should have received an email with further details and instructions for attending this online webinar. If you did not receive this email and believe that you should have, please email Communications Manager Jessica Maloney at maloneyj@sdcers.org.
     
    To reiterate, there are no SDCERS staff members working at the office until further notice. This means no one is available to answer the main phone lines. Instead of calling, please use the Contact Us page on our website to submit inquiries electronically.
     
    Please continue to take all precautions to stay healthy and remain at home whenever possible.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS' 2nd Updated Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
    March 19, 2020

    ATTENTION (updated as of 3/19/2020): Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain operational. However, effective today, our offices are closed to non-SDCERS staff members. This means that all retirement counseling appointments will either take place over the phone or be postponed until a later date. Those who have upcoming appointments will be contacted by an SDCERS staff member to discuss how you’d like to proceed.
     
    You must send any paperwork (such as health reimbursement requests, for example) via email or U.S. mail. For the foreseeable future, you will not be able to drop off any paperwork at the office. Health-related paperwork can be emailed to health@sdcers.org or faxed to 858-581-5314. All documents can be mailed to our offices at 401 West A Street, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101.
     
    Also, for the remainder of March, all scheduled seminars will be held as online webinars that can be accessed remotely. Those who are registered for the March 23rd DROP Entry Seminar should have received an email with further details and instructions for attending this online webinar. If you did not receive this email and believe that you should have, please email Communications Manager Jessica Maloney at maloneyj@sdcers.org.
     
    As always, if you have a retirement-related emergency, please contact our Call Center at (619) 525-3600. Please be advised our Call Center is extremely understaffed for the time being and call waiting times may be longer than usual. For any non-emergencies, please use the Contact Us page on our website to submit inquiries electronically.
     
    Please continue to take all precautions to stay healthy.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS' Updated Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
    March 17, 2020

    ATTENTION (updated as of 3/17/2020): Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain operational. However, we will be discontinuing in-office visits. This means that all retirement counseling appointments will either take place over the phone or be postponed until a later date. Those who have upcoming appointments will be contacted by an SDCERS staff member to discuss how you’d like to proceed.
     
    We also ask that you send any paperwork (such as health reimbursement requests, for example) via email. If you do not have access to email, you may mail in your documents or, if absolutely necessary, you can drop the paperwork off at the office. However, no staff members will be available to meet with any visitors to the office in person. Health-related paperwork can be emailed to health@sdcers.org - please attach any documents as PDF's only, as our firewalls will block any emails with non-PDF attachments. If you have other documents to send in, please inquire via the Contact Us page on our website and someone will contact you about where to send your paperwork.  
     
    Also, for the remainder of March, all scheduled seminars will be held as online webinars that can be accessed remotely. Those who are registered for the March 23rd DROP Entry Seminar will be receiving an email with further details and instructions for attending this online webinar.
     
    As always, if you have a retirement-related emergency, please contact our Call Center at (619) 525-3600. Please be advised our Call Center is extremely understaffed for the time being and call times may be longer than usual. For any non-emergencies, please use the Contact Us page on our website to submit inquiries electronically.
     
    Please continue to take all precautions to stay healthy.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS' Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
    March 16, 2020

    ATTENTION: Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain open for business. This means that if you have an appointment with one of our retirement counselors, you are under the age of 65, and you are healthy, please come in on your scheduled date and time unless you have been contacted by an SDCERS representative and told otherwise. However, if you are coughing, sneezing, achy, feverish, or having difficulty breathing, please postpone your visit to SDCERS until you are healthy again.

    If you have a retirement-related emergency or if you’d like to reschedule your appointment, please contact our Call Center at (619) 525-3600. You may also reach us through our website's contact us submission form, here. We have a number of staff members out of the office for the foreseeable future, so if you have a non-emergency, please use our online contact us form rather than calling the Call Center in order to keep our call waiting times down at a reasonable level.
     
    Also, for the remainder of March, all scheduled seminars will be turned into webinars that can be accessed remotely as long as you have computer and internet access. Those who are registered for the March 17th and March 23rd seminars will be receiving an email with further details and instructions for attending these webinars.
     
    We at SDCERS consider the health and safety of our staff and members a top priority. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus and are committed to being responsive as the situation evolves. In addition to following the guidelines set by the state, county, and city, SDCERS has taken the following steps towards keeping our offices a safe place for staff and members to visit:

    • We have encouraged anyone on our staff who is feeling ill to stay home;

    • We are encouraging members to reschedule their appointments it they are feeling ill;

    • Our building always follows all OSHA guidelines for sterilization and cleanliness;

    • We have taken extra steps to educate our staff on the importance of hand washing and breaking habits like touching our face, nose, and eyes; and

    • We are wiping down keyboards, counters, and office areas frequently throughout the day.

    Please take all precautions to stay healthy!

  • Feature Story

    2019 1099-R Tax Forms
    January 22, 2020

    IRS Form 1099-R’s were mailed on January 13th from our vendor based in Chicago. This means all SDCERS retirees and beneficiaries who received a payment from SDCERS in 2019 should be receiving their 2019 1099-R forms via U.S. mail over the next couple of weeks. To access your 1099-R form sooner, please log in to your Member Portal account, click on “1099R and W2” on the left, and select “2019 1099R” to download an electronic copy. You can also update your tax withholding preferences on your Member Portal by clicking on “Tax Withholding.” This guide explains how to update your tax withholding preferences.
     
    For a detailed explanation of the pertinent information in your 1099-R, as well as answers to frequently asked questions regarding this tax form, please review our 1099-R Fact Sheet. If you have additional questions, please contact the Call Center at (619) 525-3600 or submit your questions electronically via our Contact Us web form.

  • Feature Story

    Active Member Death Benefits and the Importance of Keeping Your Beneficiary Designations Updated
    December 11, 2019

    When was the last time you thought about your SDCERS beneficiary designations? Over a year ago? Five years? The day you enrolled in SDCERS? Maybe never? Beneficiary designations may seem like a chore you can put off or do once and forget about, but the truth is you should review your beneficiary designations at least once a year to make sure they reflect your current circumstances. For example, beneficiary designations probably aren’t the first thing on your mind when you get married or divorced, have a child, or lose a loved one, but these are all defining life events that may affect who you want to receive your pension benefits when you die.

    Active Members (meaning those who are actively employed by the City, Port,* or Airport and contributing to SDCERS, but are not in DROP) are eligible to leave one of three types of death benefits if they die before retiring or entering DROP, and the eligibility requirements are very specific for two of the three types. Importantly, if you die without having designated your surviving spouse as your sole pre-retirement death benefit beneficiary, then your surviving spouse will not be eligible to receive the lifetime Death While Eligible or Industrial Death Benefit, even if all other eligibility requirements are satisfied. This article contains a summary of the death benefits provided to Active Members, but please review the Death Benefits Fact Sheet for more in-depth information.

    *General Port employees hired or rehired on or after January 1, 2009 must complete five consecutive years of Port employment after each hire or rehire date before they become Members of SDCERS and are eligible to leave a death benefit.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS Board Approves Annual Supplemental Benefit and Corbett Settlement Increase for 2019
    November 08, 2019

    At its November 8, 2019 meeting, SDCERS’ Board of Administration approved payment of the Annual Supplemental Benefit, also known as the “13th Check,” and the Corbett Settlement Increase (“Corbett benefit”) for eligible retirees and continuance beneficiaries. The Supplemental Benefit is paid in years when the fund’s investment earnings are sufficient to qualify, according to a set formula defined in the plan documents, and the Corbett benefit is paid in years that the Supplemental Benefit is paid. If you are eligible for one or both of these benefits, payment will be included in your November 2019 monthly pension benefit.
     
    The eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Benefit and Corbett settlement benefits are described in our FAQs under “Annual Supplemental Benefit ("13th Check"), Corbett, COLA, COL Annuity.” Here, you will also find a description of how these benefits are calculated.

    Click "Read Moreto view the full article.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS Receives the 2019 Public Pension Standards Award for Funding and Administration
    October 21, 2019

    For the second year in a row, SDCERS has been awarded the Public Pension Standards Award for Funding and Administration. The Public Pension Coordinating Council grants this award, which recognizes SDCERS for meeting professional standards for plan funding and administration as set forth in the Public Pension Standards.​


    Image of SDCERS' 2019 Public Pension Standards Award for Funding and Administration from the Public Pension Coordinating Council


    Click "Read More" for more information about this award.

  • Feature Story

    Meet Your SDCERS Call Center Representatives!
    September 27, 2019

    If you’ve ever called SDCERS, odds are you’ve spoken to one of our Call Center representatives. These are the people who spend all day, every day answering Members’ questions and trying to fix their problems. As anyone in customer service will likely tell you, it can sometimes be a thankless job. However, our Call Center representatives are lucky to have kind and patient Members, and our Members are equally lucky to have such passionate and caring people on the other end of the phone.

    At some point, almost all of our Members will talk to someone in the Call Center, so we thought you might like to know a little more about the ladies you’ll be talking to and maybe even put a face to the name of your representative.

    Click "Read More" below to view the full article and see individual bios for each of our Call Center staff members!

    Group photo of Call Center staff - Sarema Valenzuela, Catherine Ayala, Andrea Valdes, Selene Rodriguez, and Victoria Fedalizo.
    From Left to Right: Sarema Valenzuela, Catherine Ayala, Andrea Valdes, Selene Rodriguez, and Victoria Fedalizo.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS' Board Appoints New Vice President and Committee Chairs
    September 13, 2019

    At the September 13th Board meeting, Board President Carol Broad appointed Carina Coleman to the position of Vice President. The appointment was unanimously approved by the remaining members of the Board who were present. The Vice President’s duties include acting as the Board President whenever the Board President is absent or otherwise unable to fulfill their duties, and temporarily assuming the role of Board President until an election can be scheduled in the event the current Board President’s seat becomes vacant. Ms. Coleman was additionally appointed to be the new Chair of the Investment Committee, a seat previously occupied by Board President Carol Broad.

    Charlie Hogquist, Carina Coleman, Carol Broad, and Thanasi Preovolos sitting at their podiums while motion to confirm Carina Coleman as new Vice President is on screen in the background.
    From Left to Right: Charlie Hogquist, Carina Coleman, Carol Broad, and Thanasi Preovolos

    The Audit Committee reappointed Roberta Spoon as its Chair, and the current Chairs of the Business and Governance Committee and Disability Committee will remain the same as well: Thanasi Preovolos and Charles Hogquist, respectively.

    Please join us in congratulating our new Vice President and Committee Chairs! You can watch the September 13th Board meeting by going to Board Meeting Agendas and clicking on “View Media” next to the September 13, 2019 Board of Aministration Meeting line item.

     

  • Feature Story

    Annual Member Statements
    August 16, 2019

    Non-retired SDCERS Members will be receiving their Annual Statement of Benefits in the mail over the next several days. This statement contains detailed account information for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, which means the information is current as of July 1, 2019. The purpose of this Annual Statement of Benefits is (1) to ensure that your beneficiary designations are updated, and (2) to keep you informed of the details of your SDCERS retirement account.

    Please review the information on your statement carefully and contact SDCERS if you need to update your information or if you believe there is an error in your statement.

    A video detailing the contents of your statement is available here.

    If you have questions about your Annual Statement of Benefits, please visit your Payroll Specialist or call the SDCERS Call Center at 619-525-3600. And remember, your most up-to-date account information is always available on the SDCERS Member Portal.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS' Board Welcomes Two New Members, and Carina Coleman Reappointed for Second Term
    August 05, 2019

    Last week, the City Council unanimously approved the Mayor’s appointment of two new Board Members: Clifford Schireson and Paul Kaufmann. The City Council also approved the reappointment of veteran Board Member Carina Coleman.

    Carina Coleman and Paul Kaufmann being sworn in as Board Members at the Office of the City Clerk.

    Carina Coleman and Paul Kaufmann being sworn in at the Office of the City Clerk.


    We are thrilled to welcome our new Board Members, and also to have Carina Coleman back for a second term! You can see all three at our next Board meeting on September 13th at 8:30 a.m. in our Board room. If you can’t attend in person, you can tune in to the live broadcast by clicking on “Board Meeting Agendas”, following the link to the online agendas, and clicking on “Live Media” in the Board of Administration line when the meeting starts.

    Please read the full article for more information about these three Board Members.

  • Feature Story

    Active City Members: Register for Upcoming Pre-Retirement Seminar!
    July 31, 2019

    UPDATE: THE SEPTEMBER SEMINAR IS NOW FULL. WE WILL ANNOUNCE THE DATES OF FUTURE SEMINARS AS THEY ARE SCHEDULED.

    Attention All Active City Members:
     
    Registration is now open for SDCERS’ upcoming pre-retirement seminar, which will be held on September 11th at 2:30 p.m. in SDCERS’ Board room (401 West A Street, Third Floor, San Diego, CA 92101). At this educational seminar, SDCERS staff will walk you through your retirement benefits and help you plan for the future.

    No matter how old you are, it’s never too early or too late to start thinking about your retirement goals and making plans so that you can meet those goals. Space is limited, so please call SDCERS as soon as possible to register, at (619) 525-3600.  Additional pre-retirement seminars and DROP entry seminars will be held in the future, so if you miss this one, you can plan to attend next time.
     
    NOTE: You must attend a pre-retirement seminar before attending a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”) entry seminar.

  • Feature Story

    New SDCERS Board President
    July 12, 2019

    After former Board President Val Hoy maxed out his term limit, the Board established a Nomination Committee at its May meeting to nominate a fellow Board Member for the vacant position. Today, the Nomination Committee unanimously recommended Carol Broad be elected as the new Board President, and the Board unanimously approved this recommendation. 

    Photo of Board Members Charlie Hogquist, Thanasi Preovolos.

    Carol has served as the Board’s Vice President since July 13, 2018 and she has acted as the interim Board President since Val Hoy vacated the office. Carol is also the Chair of the Investment Committee and has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry, particularly in providing investment advice to major public and corporate pension funds. For more information about Carol’s professional background.

  • Feature Story

    Important Reciprocity Update
    June 24, 2019

    SDCERS administers the pension plans for three plan sponsors - the City of San Diego, the San Diego Unified Port District, and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Your ability to establish reciprocity depends on which plan sponsor you intend to work for, so please review this information carefully. If you are currently working at a California government agency that participates in reciprocity, and you are considering employment with the Port or Airport, you can apply to establish reciprocity. If you are currently working at a California government agency that participates in reciprocity, and you are considering employment with the City of San Diego, please note that only sworn police officers may join the City of San Diego’s pension plan. The City’s pension plan was closed on July 20, 2012, following the passage of City Proposition B, to all new hires except sworn police officers.

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS Recognizes Outgoing Board Trustees
    June 17, 2019

    Serving as an SDCERS Trustee requires expertise, attention and time – with no compensation – and a commitment to delivering accurate and timely benefits to participants and ensure the trust fund’s safety, integrity and growth. Having accomplished this, three SDCERS Board Trustees were recently honored for their service.Board President and Mayoral Appointee Valentine S. Hoy, Mayoral Appointee William W. Haynor and Active Police Safety Trustee Thomas A. Sullivan, who each served two four-year terms, were recognized at the March 10, 2019 Board meeting, and at a send-off event in April. The new Board President will be selected at the July Board meeting. We are excited to welcome Sgt. Louis Maggi as our newly elected Active Police Safety Trustee seat. SDCERS is governed by a 13-member Board of Administration, responsible for the prudent administration of retirement benefits for City of San Diego, San Diego Unified Port District and San Diego County Regional Airport employees, and for overseeing the investment portfolio of the retirement system’s trust fund.

  • Feature Story

    Fiscal Year 2020 COLA & City Retiree Health Open Enrollment Help Day
    June 05, 2019

    At its May 10, 2019 meeting, the Board approved two Cost of Living Adjustments (“COLA”) that will be applied to eligible retirees’ monthly benefit from July 2019 – June 2020. Members whose retirement date is before July 1, 2018 will receive a COLA increase of 2.0%. Members whose retirement date is between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 will receive a COLA increase of 1.9%.  Also, 2019-2020 Health Open Enrollment for eligible City Retirees will run from June 3 – 28, 2019. This year’s Health Open Enrollment Help Day is Friday, June 14 at the Balboa Park Club Ballroom. There will be no formal presentations, but SDCERS staff and representatives from sponsored health plans will be available to answer questions from 10:00 a.m. – noon. You may also submit your enrollment forms directly to SDCERS staff at this event. Click here for more information

  • Feature Story

    City Retiree Health Open Enrollment Kickoff
    May 23, 2019

    2019-2020 Health Open Enrollment for eligible City Retirees will run from June 3 – 28, 2019. The Health Open Enrollment Kickoff is this Friday, May 24 at the Balboa Park Club Ballroom. The event will feature formal presentations by Kaiser, Cigna, SCAN Health Plan, and Sharp from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., and retirees will be able to talk to the providers and ask questions until noon. Click here for more information

  • Feature Story

    Fact Check Your Future
    April 02, 2019

    SDCERS administers benefits for more than 20 plan tiers, and you can learn more about YOUR plan by reading the Retirement Plan Summary that corresponds to your employer and hire date. Understand how your retirement contributions are calculated, when you are eligible for a lifetime retirement benefit, and your retirement benefit formula. Invest a few minutes in learning about your retirement future. 

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS' Board Votes to Set Minimum Pension Payments
    January 17, 2019

    At the January meeting, SDCERS' Board of Administration took another important step toward pension stability by voting to set minimum annual pension payments of the Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL) for the City of San Diego and the Port of San Diego.

    This minimum payment is also referred to as a "floor," meaning even if the required annual payment is less than the "floor," that minimum amount must be paid each year. The UAL floor payment for the City was set at $275.5 million and $13.3 million for the Port. This is based on the June 30, 2018 actuarial valuations which set the payment amount for the fiscal 2020 payment to the retirement system.

    The new policy increases benefit security and helps the pension fund reach full funding by 2037, several years earlier than anticipated.

    The Board also voted to prospectively limit the long-term impacts of changes to the assumed rate of return (discount rate), retirement rates, and life expectancy assumptions, to a 20-year period from the previous 30-year period.

    A video of the Board discussion and vote is available here.

     

  • Feature Story

    SDCERS Reports 8.9% Final Investment Return for Fiscal Year 2018
    November 27, 2018

    SDCERS’ Total Fund reported performance of +8.9% net of fees compared to the benchmark of 7.6% and assets topped $8 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. U.S. equities were a strong source of value-add during the year, up 16.3% compared to the benchmark of 14.8%.

Latest News

Cost of Living Adjustment (“COLA”) for Fiscal Year 2022
May 14, 2021

At its May 14, 2021 meeting, SDCERS’ Board of Administration approved the Cost of Living Adjustment (“COLA”) that will be applied to eligible SDCERS retirees’ (including active DROP participants) monthly pension benefit amount from July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. You will receive a COLA for Fiscal Year 2022 if your retirement or DROP entry date is on or before June 30, 2021.
 
Per San Diego Municipal Code section 24.1505 and section 1301 of the Port and Airport Plans, the COLA is calculated every year based on the change in the cost of living between the two previous Decembers, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), United States – All items. However, the maximum allowable increase in any given year is 2.0%.
 
In years where the COLA is greater than the maximum 2.0% (such as last year), the amount over 2% is added to what is called a “COLA bank.” A retiree’s COLA bank accumulates based on their fiscal year of retirement (or DROP entry), and each annual retiree group has its own COLA bank. In years that the CPI’s published COLA is less than 2%, each retiree group’s COLA bank may be able to increase the actual COLA received by the retiree up to a maximum of 2%, if that retiree group’s COLA bank has accrued enough funds from years where the published COLA was greater than 2%.
 
According to the CPI, the change in cost of living between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020 was 1.362%. Due to the fact that this year’s COLA is less than 2%, different COLAs were approved for different retiree groups, depending on the member’s retirement (or DROP entry) date and COLA bank, as follows:
 

Retirement or DROP Entry Date

FY 2022 COLA

Before 7/1/2005

2.0%

Between 7/1/2005 and 6/30/2017

1.8%

Between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2020

1.7%

On or After 7/1/2020

1.4%

 

The two members who are in the 1981 retirement plan will receive a COLA increase of 0.8%.
 
If you are eligible to receive a Fiscal Year 2022 COLA, the applicable increase will be reflected in your July 2021 pension payment.


 
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City Pre-Retirement Webinar
13:00
Online Webinar
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17
City DROP Entry Webinar
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22
City Pre-Retirement Webinar
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